“Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil…
But the meek shall inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace...
The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
when he delights in his way;
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the Lord upholds his hand.” Psalm 37:1-8,11,23-24
In order to befriend, we must become familiar and get to know, and actually like. David’s admonition, to himself and to us, is that befriending faithfulness is doable and well worth the investment. In fact, it’s freeing and joyful and the most favorable way to live.
In order to trust in the Lord and do good, there are a few practices we must do without. Sideways glances in comparison, fretting, fear, hatred, and envy will always sully our psyche and behavior. Trusting our own narrow and sin-stained understanding will limit our exercise of faith and progress in spiritual growth. Giving way to impatience, impetuousness, and anger will only impede the slow steady rising of the Lord’s light on our way, and strew rocks on His path. So to befriend faithfulness, we must ‘unfriend’ these penchants, and cleanse ourselves of all foreign devotion. Of which do we need repent? (Proverbs 3:3-7)
Now onto the development of a godly relationship with faith and ongoing habit of faithfulness. These revolves around and are intwined with the Lord- who is faith’s object as well as its source. He is faithful, and develops that quality in His people as we understand His unchanging character and steadfast love.
The commands here are to trust in Him, delight ourselves in Him, commit our way to Him, be still before Him, and wait patiently for Him. Each is tall order, and together- even taller, but all are the right and good way. Each is obeyed decision by decision, courageous step by courageous step, and the farther we go the more clear and bright our path. Faithfulness becomes our sweet companion, the one whose stride we mimic and whose voice directs our choices. Practice becomes joyful habit as the endorphins of spiritual exercise and strength rejuvenate, inspire, and fulfill.
Where are we expending effort and energy in friendships? Is our loyalty to what is transient, superficial, or might get us ahead in this world? Or are we spending time getting to know faithfulness, diligence, and true communion with Christ? How will we improve our familiarity with, and love for, all that delights our Lord?
Father, nurture my friendship with faithfulness. Help me grow in devotion, be worthy of Your confidences, and ever increase in love. (John 15:15-17)